Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tools of the East reverse the stresses of the West. Study shows Kirtan Kriya decreases inflammation in the body.

A new study from the University of California, Los Angeles, links yoga to inflammation reduction in people living in a stressful situation.

The UCLA study, published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, found positive results in reducing inflammation among family caregivers of people with dementia, using only twelve minutes of yoga practiced daily for eight weeks.

The study consisted of forty-five participants separated into two groups.  One group listened to relaxing music for twelve minutes per day over the course of eight weeks while the other group performed twelve minutes of daily yoga, specifically Kirtan Kriya, a Kundalini yoga practice.

The results showed those involved in the yoga practice had a change in response of sixty-eight genes, leading to a reversal of inflammation in those dealing with significant stress in life.

Kundalini is a form of yoga which incorporates chanting with movement or hand postures, known as mudras, to form a kriya ( an action which achieves a specific result).

Yogi Bhajan has mentioned Kirtan Kriya as one of the most important kriyas.  That if all other kriyas were lost, this one would get us through these challenging times.

Kirtan kriya is a simple practice that is focusing, calming and, according to research, anti-inflammatory.

To learn Kirtan Kriya, click and follow the instructions set out by the Kundalini Research Institute.

Those who regularly practice this kriya have already felt the many benefits.  For those yet to venture into the world of Kundalini or meditation, this study may provide a little motivation.

Twelve minutes each day.  Seems a small investment for restoring balance, naturally.

Rambir Kaur
atONE Holistic Living

Vanilla bean-infused balm. A delicious DIY

Infusing the whole vanilla bean gives this balm a natural, full aroma with the benefits of the bean imparted in the oil.

Step 1.  Start by infusing your oil of choice with vanilla beans.  Split the bean and scrape the 'caviar' into the jar, then drop the bean in as well.  Two to three beans per 500 mls will produce a lovely aroma.

Sweet almond, fractionated coconut and light vegetable oils work best as a carrier.  The lighter the aroma of the oil, the cleaner the vanilla scent will be.

Choose the best quality oil as this is what your body's largest organ, your skin, will be drinking in.

Fill the jar to the top with oil, no room for air, and cap tightly.  Allow to infuse for 30 days in a warm window sill or, if pressed for time, use a hot water bath to extract the essence.

This produces a delicious smelling oil that can be applied directly onto the skin as a luxurious body oil or poured into the bath for a relaxing soak.

Step 2.  Pour the vanilla bean-infused oil into the top of a double boiler and add a good quality beeswax.  I'm really not one to measure, however, the last batch I made used about 150ml of infused oil and 30ml of beeswax, a couple tablespoons, perhaps.

Heat the mixture gently until the beeswax melts into the oil.  Test the consistency by removing the spoon with a little of the mixture on it.  It will cool quickly and give you an indication of how hard it will be once set.

If it is softer than you'd like, add more beeswax and continue to heat until melted.  If it is too hard, add more infused oil and repeat the test until you reach the consistency you desire.

Remove the mixture from heat, making sure absolutely no water from the double boiler gets into your blend.  Add a splash of vitamin E if you have it, for a natural preservative and pour the mixture into your clean, dry containers.

Once cooled, cap them and they are ready to go.

A yummy treat for chapped lips, dry skin, cracked heels or a soft, natural perfume for wrists and neck.

1.  Add a little sweet orange essential oil to create a scent that will make everyone feel like a kid again.

2. The addition of essential oil of lavender produces a most relaxing blend.  Soothing to the skin and the senses.
Vanilla beans have anti-inflammatory as well as pain-relieving properties.  An increase in both calmness and happiness has also been reported.

You now have two delicious creations for the skin; your sensual vanilla bean-infused body oil and the beautiful vanilla-infused bees balm.

Both make great gifts for someone special or a sumptuous treat for yourself.



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

All-natural mouthwash. An ancient practice with a lot of flavour

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Simple, easy and most likely all ingredients are already in your pantry.

Many traditions have used various vegetable oils as mouthwash.  In ayurveda, sesame oil is used.  A small amount is all that is needed to swish around vigorously in the mouth.  The longer you swish, the more the oil mixes with saliva, drawing bacteria and toxins from the mouth to be spit out and rinsed away down the drain.  Rinse the mouth with fresh water a couple times, brush and you're good to go.  Rinse the sink with hot water.

My preferred mouthwash involves a handful of dried clove buds added to my bottle of sesame oil.

For a milder rinse, use the whole buds.  Crush the buds for a more intense mouthwash.

Other spices to try include:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Ginger
  • Vanilla pods
  • Licorice root

Many of these act as disinfectants as they have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and are also used in aiding issues of the mouth and gums.

You are essentially making an oil infusion.  Pick your favourite or make a blend.  Chai spice mouthwash!  Remember, each day your infusion will intensify, so start out mild and by the end of the bottle you could have quite the potent rinse.  A small bottle will last a long time as you need only a tablespoon per use.  If the bottom of the bottle is too strong, add more oil.

If sesame is not on hand or your oil of choice, try olive, coconut, sunflower or canola.

Choose a good quality oil, as well as spices, preferably organic or pesticide-free.

In ayurveda, bad breath can be attributed to an improper diet.  If you experience chronic bad breath, consider making a few dietary adjustments to restore balance to your digestive system, naturally.

In the meantime, nourish your teeth and gums with your own flavourful mouthwash.


atONE Holistic Living

Let me know which herbs and oils you try and how they turn out.

More than exercise; 10 ways to turn physical punishment into total nourishment

Sweat and laugh every day. ~ Yogi Bhajan
These are some of my favourite ways that transformed my workouts from feeling like a self-imposed penalty to a source of  growth and renewal.

If you've had a difficult time beginning regular exercise, these ten tips may make the leap more enjoyable for you.  

If you have experienced an injury, overtraining or exercise addiction, these tips may help you to restore balance in your body and your self.

Wherever you are with exercise, they will certainly nourish you and strengthen the connection between body, mind and spirit.

Experiment, shake things up and, above all, have fun!

1.  Add music.  I'm not talking abut the workout playlist you created so you could run faster, push more weight and time your intervals.  I'm talking about music that inspires you to move.  Motivates you to dance.  Puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step.  Makes your knees start to groove in crazy ways they've never moved before, coercing your hips and feet to come along for the ride. Try some African drums or didgeridoo.  Let your whole body move and sing!  Make this spontaneous dance your workout.

2.  Go 'au naturel'.  Take it outside.  Whatever it is.  If you enjoy your  daily run, take it to the trails.  Soak up some sun, fresh air, the colours of the sky, the trees and the scenery.  Don't keep your focus on the feet, rather notice the detail and richness of what's around you.  Smile at others that pass or just smile for yourself.  Absorb the sounds and the sights.  Walk near a body of water, bike through tree-lined trails, hike around a lake, swim in an outdoor pool or skate on an outside rink.  Take yoga to the deck, qigong to the lawn or tai chi to the park.  One of my favourite memories is of swimming in a large outdoor pool while on a trip through California with my Mom a few years ago. We were in Chico, a city with which we both fell in love.   It was night with only the colourfully-lit palm trees as my light.  The air was balmy and the water temperature was perfect.  As I glided back and forth from palm tree to palm tree, a shooting star brightly and quickly blazed across the clear night sky.

3.  Breathe.  The quickest, simplest and most powerful way to restore the connection of the body to the mind and the spirit is through breath.  A few minutes of conscious deep breathing before you start an activity brings your focus completely to where you are and what you are doing. Then guide your attention back to the breath as often as you can during exercise.   Every inhalation draws energy and vitality to you and every exhalation releases tension and eases you into your activity. You are completely engaged.  If struggle arises, use the breath to move your body and calm your mind.   Finish with several minutes of relaxed breathing, inhalations that draw right down into the belly and exhalations that empty the lungs completely and drop the shoulders, melting in full release.  Make the art of breathing your exercise of the day.  Consider learning a breathing technique like sitalibreath of fire or alternate nostril breathing to add to your daily routine.

4.  Hydrate with herbal water.  Add a bit of fresh or dried herbs or a weak herbal infusion to your water bottle.  Choose invigorating plants like mint, cinnamon, ginger, orange peel or cardamom for an active outing or soothing herbs like lemon balm, chamomile, rose or lavender for your evening walk or yoga practice.  Enjoy a single herb, make up your own blend or use your favourite prepared herbal tea.  One large fresh mint leaf added to a water bottle is very refreshing on a long hike, ride, run or yoga practice.  Chilled coconut water with a little lime is a cooling drink on a hot day and provides much needed electrolytes that may be lost during exercise.  The taste, scent and effects of the herbal water will engage your senses and enhance your experience.

5.  Set an intention.  This one I have lovingly borrowed from the practice of yoga.  Before beginning your activity, perhaps while you are engaged in your deep, full breathing exercise, ask yourself what you would like to set as the intention for your activity.  This can be goal oriented but rather than go for a personal best, how about going for a personal cause.  Try dedicating your activity to another person who needs help, or a group.  Often when I am engaged in a solar plexus chakra practice, performing 108 heart presses or sun salutations, I break it up into sets and dedicate each one.  It's fascinating where I can draw energy from when I dedicate the merits of that energy to a specific person, cause, humanity or the earth.  Or simply set an intention for enjoying the activity or your surroundings, your co-participants, your breath, your day, your body, nature, life.  Is there something you've been struggling with?  Put that issue out there and see if a response hasn't formed by the time you're finished your routine.

6.  Connect.  Grab a buddy or small group and take a lesson in something you'd like to try; belly dancing, acro-yoga, african dance!  Adding a friend may reduce the cost of classes while providing motivation, support and someone to share a laugh.  If you are used to doing an activity on your own, occasionally join a class or group and enjoy meeting new people or simply soak up the energy and support of community.

7.  Find stillness.  Take time at the start of your exercise to be still. Engage in breath, intention and connect to your surroundings and how you are feeling physically and mentally.  Ask yourself what you need from this particular activity.  What is the best way to nourish yourself this day.  This may shift your exercise, directing you towards something more conducive to optimum wellness.  Trust this process and go with it.  Let your body reveal what it needs.  After the activity, spend time in stillness.  No thoughts, don't review, critique and judge your performance.  Know that it is complete and let it be.  Stillness can be enjoyed in meditation after exercise or while in long-held stretches, allowing total surrender of your body and mind with every exhalation in the stretch.  Breathe, release and continue your day renewed.

8.  Add energy.  Learn and practice yoga, tai chi or qigong.  Milleniums-old techniques were developed precisely for guiding us towards wellness and connection of body, mind and spirit.  Focusing the mind, breath and movement into one synergistic dance, these practices lend themselves to both an individual and community setting.  Providing a daily tool for self assessment and correction.  Even if your activity of choice is completely different, incorporate one of these energy-based disciplines into your daily routine.  Fifteen minutes morning and/or evening is a gift you give yourself of a balanced start and end to each day.

9.  Play.  A game-centered activity like hopscotch or jump rope with the kids sounds fun.  When's the last time you played tag or leapfrog?  (Wow. I just googled 'leapfrog' and got pages of hits on computer games.  For those who don't remember or never played the physical activity game of leapfrog, here's how: leapfrog rules.)  Take up a recreational sport in your community.  Tennis, swimming, baseball, basketball, soccer, beach volleyball.  Also a great way to meet people and learn new skills.  Laughter and play are beneficial to our health and effectively engage us in the present.  What did you play as a kid?  Revisit it, just keep in mind, you may not be quite as agile or flexible as you once were... safety first!  Hula hoop!

10.  Give back.  Start or join an event that gives back to the community.  Whether it's an organized spring trash clean up or a 10k run for charity.  Perhaps a yoga class in a senior's home or an outdoor games day for underprivileged kids.  Initiate, co-create, join in or volunteer to connect through movement in your community.

Here's an idea for an activity that encompasses all ten tips;  Outdoor yoga with a large group, intentions and donations going to charity, you and a friend with your bottles of herbal water and yoga mats in hand as you get set to experiment with playful poses accompanied by live guitar and drums.


What ways do you use to nourish yourself?

Over three years ago a doctor told me that, given the nature of my spinal injury, I should be shuffling around in pain. I remember thinking, "Now, why would I ever want to do that?"  He asked me what my secret was.  Many of them are listed above.

I won't tell you all days are pain-free, however, there is very little shuffling around going on.   Life is good!

atONE Holistic Living

Monday, July 23, 2012

Breath of fire.

 A breath used to invigorate, energize, stoke the fires of digestion and spark creativity.

Yogi Bhajan says that longevity comes with regular practice of breath of fire.

This is a breath for stirring digestive agni.  Agni, in ayurveda, refers to fires.  The fires of digestion, life force, the cosmic fire - there are many.  Breath of fire strengthens our digestive systems, assisting in the efficiency to burn the fuel we feed ourselves as food as well as any toxic thoughts or emotions, including that of others, that we may ingest in the course of each day.  A strong digestive fire is an important foundation to every body.

This is a breath that, practiced regularly, facilitates rhythm and harmony within the systems of the body.

I enjoy this breath as a start to my day, drawing energy and vitality into my core to use throughout the day.  This breath invigorates me and moves any stagnation in my body and my life.

Breath of fire:

It is easiest to begin learning this breath while breathing through the mouth.

Once the basic form is grasped, then breath should be moved through the nose.

Sitting comfortably, take a few deep, relaxing breaths to settle your body and slow your breathing.  Once calm, begin breathing rather quickly through the mouth, observing the movement of the belly with the breath.  Notice if the belly moves in with the exhalation and out with the inhalation.  Gently assist this movement by controlling the action of the belly.

This is not a 'pull the belly button to the spine' type of movement that constricts breath and adds tension to the muscles and the body. This is a slight, controlled contraction of the muscles in coordination with the breath.  Belly button draws in on exhalation and relaxes upon inhalation.  Practice this coordination without strain.

Similar to a dog panting, however, here's the difference as I feel it; when you simply pant with your breath, you can get light-headed and dizzy.  Once the connection is established between the breath and the core, there is a grounding factor that supports the breathing and does not result in dizziness.  Also, ensure you are drawing in sufficient breath and not allowing the breath to be too short.

Should you feel light-headed, stop the breath immediately.  You could try again at another time, with the emphasis on the core action.

Begin this breath slowly and increase the speed once you have gained some control.  One cycle per second is a comfortable place to begin.  When you first start this breathing, you will feel as though your coordination has left you.  It will take a bit of practice for the muscles to engage and release quickly and in sync with the breath.

So, here we go.

Sitting comfortably.

A couple relaxing breaths.

Mouth open.

Begin breathing quickly through the open mouth, making a breathy 'ha' sound with each exhale.

Look down, is the belly moving?  Gently draw in the belly on the exhale and release on the inhale.

Quicken the breath as the gentle pumping action of the belly increases.

Inhalation and exhalation are equal in length and force.

Complete a few rounds and then close the mouth, moving the breath through the nose.

Close the eyes and focus on the rhythmic movements of body and breath.  Relax.  Draw vitality into your centre.

Try twenty seconds or so and then relax and breathe fully and deeply before doing another twenty seconds.  If you lose sync between belly and breath, relax, take a few breaths and then continue with breath of fire, restoring the connection between the belly and the breath.  A couple minutes a day is all it takes.

Work up to a faster pace, increased intensity and a longer duration as you feel comfortable.

Feel the fire in the belly?

When finished, sit with eyes closed for a few minutes, breathing deeply and simply notice how you feel and any movement of energy through the body.  Open the eyes, continue relaxed breathing for a minute or so before getting up and continuing your day, invigorated!  sat nam.

As always, consult a professional or physician if you have any underlying health conditions, are pregnant or have never attempted breathing exercises.  Breath of fire is not recommended during the first couple days of the menstrual cycle. Also, as this is a heat-generating breath, existing heat conditions such as menopausal hot flashes, may be more suited to sitali breathing than breath of fire.

Friday, July 20, 2012



Yarrow, a natural ally.
Two separate incidents in the past week prompted me to get out the yarrow.  My five year old received a small cut on the bottom of her foot while on holidays.  The cut appeared to be healing when, ten days later, it flared up into a staph infection and began travelling across the top of her foot and starting up the leg.

Intravenous antibiotics were required to get the infection under control.  As the antibiotics were doing their work, I headed into the herb closet and pulled out some yarrow for a foot soak, to relieve the swelling, cleanse the affected area and provide support while her body got back on track. 

Two days later, my husband returned home from work, having swerved to miss a dog and owner on the bike path, he'd laid down his bike and sustained a rather nasty case of road rash on his elbow and forearm.  As I was preparing another yarrow foot soak for the five year old, I simply added a poultice for him, applying it to his arm until the poultice felt warm.  

To me, it's a two-way street; the herbs impart their healing qualities to the wound and also draw out any toxins, heat, inflammation or infection.  

My daughter's foot then received a little calendula-infused bees' balm, a favourite of mine for the children, to encourage healing of the skin and my husband's arm later received an application of aloe vera gel with lavender and ravintsara, to further cool, soothe and protect the skin.

Yarrow is quite common, growing in meadows, along roadsides, in the mountains and pastures.  The plant flowers between June and September.

Also referred to as bloodwort or staunchweed, that is precisely for what this plant is known best; staunching bleeding.  According to Gerard, this is the same plant Achilles used to staunch the wounds of soldiers.  Hence the name Achillea.

I have heard of cases of campers sustaining serious injuries in the woods and packing the injury with yarrow to stop bleeding until medical attention could be received.

Some have used the tender spring leaves of yarrow in salads or soup seasonings, predominantly in the 17th century.  My favourite tradition with yarrow is, when on holidays at the top of the mountain, I pick one small bunch on my first hike, soak it overnight then drink the next morning.  It's my welcome-to-the-mountain tonic.  For me it removes any residue of a busy life, mind and body, connects me to my surroundings and restores balance naturally.

I typically add essential oil of yarrow to preparations for clients who are dealing with issues stemming from environmental toxins.  Sore hands or joints from working or living on land that has been polluted or contaminated.  To the oil or balm blend I simply add the yarrow essential oil.  

I have infused it in a carrier oil, however, I prefer to make it up fresh and specific to the need, working either with the dried material as a wash or a poultice, or the fresh plant for similar uses.

Tincture or tea of yarrow has been taken by women experiencing extreme menstrual cramping and excess bleeding.

The leaves have been used in nose bleeds, both stopping them as well as using them to relieve headache.  
Yarrow stalks have been used with the I Ching and there is a great history of yarrow use in divination and healing ceremonies over the centuries.  Thought to bring courage and protection as well as release evil spirits or negative energy from the body, yarrow is considered a great ally in war; personal, physical, mental or spiritual.

Yarrow is used in seventh chakra work, cleansing the aura and offering protection from external or internal negative influences.

Yarrow is said to be cooling, therefore it lowers excess pitta yet can aggravate vata if too much is used.

As always with plants, make sure you can identify the plant correctly before use.  Many plants look similar but have very different properties.

Obviously caution must be used in people with blood-clotting issues as well as those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.  It is always best to work with herbs under the guidance of a professional.

Read up on yarrow.  Chances are this powerful and lovely little healer grows right under your nose.

The information in this blog is provided simply for information purposes and is not intended to treat or diagnose any conditions.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Let your skin drink it in!

Plant distillates balance body, mind & spirit.
Organic plant essences balance your body, mind and spirit. 
Hydrosols, or distillates, are the co-product of steam distillation of plants to capture their volatile or essential oils.  As the oils are removed, the distillate remains and with it, the therapeutic nutrients of the plant and a small amount of essential oils.  
Hydrosols make excellent facial toners after cleansing, are refreshing to dry skin on a hot day, beautiful additions to a bath or an after shower spray and nourishing to freshly-washed hair.  Hydrosols are also sprayed on linens for sweet dreams but why indulge the sheets when your skin can drink it in?
Since hydrosols are less concentrated than essential oils, they are safer for use with children, pets and expectant or nursing mothers.

Some of the more common hydrosols available;

A romantic favourite.  Promotes sensuality and self-nurturing. Lovely for post-bath or a boudoir spray.  On the skin, rose is softening and nourishing to mature or sensitive skin.  Mist into hair for the gentle allure of rose, onto the face for hydrating aromatherapy.  Rose is one of the most powerful plants for 4th chakra and issues of self-love, forgiveness and emotions of the heart. Rose is unique in that it is cooling and therefore decreases excess pitta, yet it also enhances agni, the digestive fire, making it beneficial for all 3 doshas.

A calming classic.  Mist linens for sweet dreams or spray directly on skin after bath.  Soothes minor skin irritation like sunburns, bug bites, rashes, eczema and scrapes.  Nourishing after-shower spray for the hair.  Spritz onto the face and inhale for a calming break any time of day.  Soak a cloth in lavender hydrosol and apply to the forehead for relief of headaches.  Use with 7th chakra to promote peace, calm and oneness, aligning all energy centres of the body and to decrease excess pitta and vata.

Neroli (orange blossom)
Sweet sedative.  Mist face and body with neroli hydrosol and slip into the sheets.  Aphrodisiac and deeply relaxing, this spray is ideal for nighttime! As a facial toner, neroli hydrosol is good for all skin types, purifying and balancing skin.  Also beneficial for work with 4th and 2nd chakras as well as decreasing excess pitta.

Melissa (lemon balm)
Soothing friend.  In times of grief or stress, melissa hydrosol is soothing to the nerves.  Mist the face throughout the day and inhale the lemony scent to relieve stress and receive comfort.
Use with 4th chakra and to decrease kapha and pitta.

Hydrosols should be kept in a cool place away from sunlight and may even be refrigerated.

The content provided on this site is meant to inform not diagnose or treat specific health conditions.  Consult a physician if pregnant, nursing, have a current health condition or are on medication, before using herbs or essential oils.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Using breath to keep your cool in the heat of summer

Finding ways to keep cool in extreme heat can be challenging, whether that heat is physical or emotional.

When we are overheated often we become agitated, adding heat to the mind as well as the body.  We get frustrated, our breathing becomes shallow and rapid and our level of discomfort increases. Sitali breathing, or cooling breath,  gives us something to focus our attention on and helps to relieve heat not only from the body, but also the mind.  This breath allows us to relax, cool off and find a more comfortable state.

Sitali breath:
Sitting comfortably, extend the tongue out of the mouth and beyond the bottom lip.  Do not strain during any part of the breath.

Roll the sides of the tongue by curling the edges upwards like a taco shape.

With this taco-tongue extended, draw a long, slow inhale into the belly.

Pull the tongue back into the mouth and exhale through the nose, long and slow, drawing the belly back towards the spine to empty.

Extend the taco-tongue and take another slow, complete inhalation.  No straining.

Exhale again through the nose, drawing the tongue back into the mouth.

The air drawn in should feel cool while the air exiting through the nose is the heat leaving the body.

Continue this breathing, allowing the inhalations and exhalations to gradually lengthen as you relax and begin to cool down.  You can begin with 3-4 minutes of this breathing several times a day, whenever you feel the heat is too much.  Closing the eyes will assist with the calming and cooling process.

If you cannot roll up the sides of your tongue:

Make a small o shape with your mouth.

Allow your tongue to float in the middle of your mouth, not touching teeth or gums.

Draw a long slow breath through the o-shaped lips and into the belly.

Press the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth and exhale through the nose.

See if you can exhale as long as or slightly longer than you can inhale.  Without strain.

Caution should be used if pregnant or you have low blood pressure.  Do not hold the breath if you are new to this breathing technique.  Discontinue if dizziness occurs.

Allow yourself to relax completely during this breath and enjoy a few moments of stillness afterwards.

A useful breath for pacifying pitta conditions of the body and mind.

Sitali breathing can be done anywhere, however, safest to do while seated.  Used in conditions of heat, including hot flashes in menopause, anger and agitation (which may also accompany menopause ;)

This information is not meant to diagnose or treat any conditions and is provided as information only.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Organic lavender bud-infused coconut oil

I began infusing my herbs and plants in sweet almond oil, my preferred oil, as well as organic olive oil.  I asked my massage therapist his carrier oil of choice.  He replied fractionated coconut oil.  The slip proved ideal for massage and didn't break down the massage sheets with the number of clients he saw in a day.  Bonus: the endless benefits of coconut oil on the skin!  So I decided to offer both.  Evidently ladybugs like the coconut oil :)

Fill a clean, dry glass jar 2/3 full of dried lavender buds.  Top with oil of choice, stir to remove any trapped air bubbles and fill the jar completely with oil.  Cap tightly and shake, turn, sing to or dance with your beautiful infusion daily for up to 30 days.  Alternatively, place your jar in a warm water bath and gently heat while stirring or lightly macerating the buds with a utensil or pestle for 20-40 minutes to provide same-day herbal oil.  

Strain the herbs and pour the oil into a clean, dry container.  Add a bit of vitamin E if you have it or rosemary oil or extract for a little preservative and a nice blend.  Keep in a cool, dry place.  Massage directly into skin, add a couple tbsp to a warm bath or add to melted beeswax for a soothing skin balm.  Ideal for mild sunburns, scrapes, scratches, inflamed or reactive skin, or for simply relaxing. 

The lavender buds that you strained:  add to your bath for a lovely home spa treatment.  Or to dead sea or himalayan salts for a body scrub.  Add a bit more oil as needed.  So many gift ideas from one simple infusion.  Ahhhhhhh, lavender.

This blog joined the following blog hops:
Wildcrafting Wednesday

“There's a few things I've learned in life: always throw salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for good luck, and fall in love whenever you can.”

~William Shakespeare

One of the most commonly known, recognized and appreciated scents is that of lavender.  Widely used throughout history for bathing, cooking and scenting the air, clothing and linens, lavender was used for mummification and perfume by the Egyptians, Phoenicians and peoples of Arabia.
Medicinally, lavender has been used for migraine headaches, insomnia and as a powerful antibacterial. Also used to soothe insect bites, burns, rashes and sunburns, lavender has antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties. Herbalists use it in treating fungal infections and acne.
Effective in loosening congestion from cold and flu, a few drops of essential oils are diffused into the air or added to a bath or shower.  Dried lavender in the pillow case is said to promote restful sleep.  There are few plants as calming as the lovely lavender.

Some recent studies have reported success in alleviating alopecia, anxiety and postoperative pain.
Used to scent and flavour jelly, lavender is also popular with main dishes and of course the famous herbes de provence seasoning.
Add the delicate taste and fragrance to scones, brownies, muffins, cakes, sorbets and teas.  Divine.

Lavender is used for work with the 7th chakra to promote peace, tranquility and a sense of oneness.  It assists with clearing crown chakra and bringing the other chakras into balance.
Dried lavender buds have become popular as wedding confetti.  What an aromatic way to send off a bride and groom!

atONE infuses carrier oils with organic lavender buds to create calming and skin-soothing body oils, face serums, body butters and balms.  The essential oil is blended in room & linen sprays, yoga mat spray, hydrosols, cold & flu synergy oil and aromatherapy roll-ons.  

When working with lavender, choose herbs from a reputable source with sustainable practices or grow your own plants and enjoy the benefits of working with fresh and dried buds and leaves.  One of my favourite suppliers is Mountain Rose Herbs.

Choose essential oils that are therapeutic grade for best results.  A few drops on a tissue in your pocket is a lovely aromatherapy go-to throughout a stressful day.  A couple drops on the floor mats of your car keeps you calm in traffic on long commutes.  A drop or two in the bath at night helps sleep come easy.

Remember, too much of a good thing... lavender in excess can cause headaches in those prone to getting them, as well as possibly create an allergic reaction if overused.  

Children should not take the essential oil internally, however a couple drops on a cotton pad is a calming and soothing topical treatment for minor cuts, scrapes and bug bites.  Added to aloe vera gel, the blend is soothing for sunburns and irritated skin.

A beautiful farm where I source some of my lavender essential oils is Harvest Moon Farms.  If you are in California, or close by, check them out.

If you are in the Alberta area, and are not up to infusing and blending on your own time, here's my website with a few of the lavender products listed. atONE Holistic Living.

However you choose to bring lavender into your life, enJOY!  
The content provided on this site is meant to inform not diagnose or treat specific health conditions.  Consult a physician if pregnant, nursing, have a current health condition or are on medication, before using herbs or essential oils.